Autism awareness and support plan launched

A campaign to raise awareness about the symptoms of autism and how best to support individuals and families has been launched in Edinburgh.

Autism Edinburgh has been set up by the City of Edinburgh Council and partner organisations in a bid to support the estimated one in every 100 people in the capital who have the disorder. It has been launched in the run up to World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, when a range of events will be held across the city.

Also being launched this week is the Council's autism plan, which highlights the importance of getting the right service at the right time for people with autism, and their carers. Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of autism can take part in the specialised online training programme.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder which can affect people with or without a learning disability– sometimes known as Aspergers Syndrome. It affects both children and adults, and can have a profound effect on the way a person understands and interacts with the world around them.

Cllr Ricky Henderson, Health and Social Care Convener, said: "Autism affects people differently, some people are able to live successful and independent lives whilst others will need very specialist support.

"A wide range of services are already available in Edinburgh and the way in which we will keep delivering these in the future is described in the autism plan. The Autism Edinburgh campaign is a great example of working in partnership with other organisations, which will let us offer the very best in care and support."

Autism Edinburgh is being delivered in partnership with Autism Initiatives, Upward Mobility, Parents of Autism Spectrum Disorder Adults (PASDA), Lothian Autistic Society, Edinburgh University, NHS Lothian, Intowork, Edinburgh and the Lothian’s Aspergers Society and the Action Group.

Visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/autism for further information, or contact the Autism Advice Line on 01259 720 044.

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